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Anthony Riches Books In Order

Publication Order of Empire Books

Wounds of Honour (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Arrows of Fury (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fortress of Spears (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Leopard Sword (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Wolf's Gold (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Eagle's Vengeance (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Emperor's Knives (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Thunder of the Gods (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Altar of Blood (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Centurions Books

Betrayal (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Onslaught (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Retribution (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Anthony Riches is a British writer a series of novels in historical military fiction, the most popular of which is the Empire series. He has always been interested in military history ever since he heard fascinating stories of the two world wars from his father and grandfather that were war veterans. He subsequently proceeded to attend Manchester University where he took a degree in Military Studies. Nonetheless, after graduating, he spent the next 25 years working for several well-known companies in a variety of roles. Over this period, Anthony Riches was a change project management and business systems expert and analyst, with the last decade spent in the Middle and Far East, the USA, Europe and the UK as a freelance project manager. He started writing the first draft of what would become his first published novel, Wounds of Honor in 1996, though he spent the next decade writing bits and ends of the novel on a succession of memory sticks and computer hard drives. However, the years spent writing the manuscript helped refine his fiction writing capabilities as he moved from the motivation of writing a novel purely for entertainment, to the more serious aim of publishing one. However, it was not until a life-changing event in Belfast, that he took his endeavor seriously and published the novel in 2009.

The Empire series of novels is a set of seven titles that tell the story of Marcus Valerius Aquila, a Praetorian centurion and a high standing member of a prominent senatorial family. His world is suddenly turned upside down when his father and entire family are massacred leaving him in a fight for his life, and on a quest for revenge. Set in second century Britain, the novels portray the life of a soldier trained to be a gladiator and soldier from his youth, who must now ingratiate himself into the Roman army in Northern Britain, and hope to survive the ravages of a brutal civil war. As a military studies major, the setting of the novel in the late second century is a perfect period for the writing of great narratives. It is the time of the Emperor Commodus, who roamed the provinces looking to trample real or imagined threats. It is also the time of the thirty-year civil war and the two-day great battle in which 300, 000 trained soldiers took to the field of battle. What makes the novels so exceptional is the fact that Riches is a well-studied military historian who not only does meticulous research before writing, but also lives the experience. He has walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall in full Roman regalia and wandered around Rome for a bit in his research for the novels. The result is that the novels descriptions of the ancient cities of Rome and Britain are fabulous.

Anthony Riches, technique for churning out great novels is pretty much standard. Given that he knows a lot about the period, much of his research will usually be on the individual provinces such as Sarmatae and Dacia in which the novel he is writing is set. For his research, the Osprey books and Wikipedia come in handy as they have a lot of information of the different historical periods. Since his writing involves different units of armies such as artillery, scouts, infantry, cavalry, and archers, he has had to live out these roles just to get a feel of them before putting them on the page. He has walked Hadrian’s Wall and the route from Rome to Pompeii in full military regalia of the time just to get a feel of how it must have been for the soldiers. The auxiliary infantryman is the most common character in the novels. An auxiliary infantryman offers some of the most compelling storyline given that these are soldiers that were forced to fight far away from their places of birth. Moved around for the sake of preventing any rebellion or clashes in loyalty, and with only a shield, sword and the soldier on either side to depend on, Riches presents the brutal nature of being a fighting man during the period.

Anthony Princes lives in Hertfordshire with his three children and wife of 25 years, Helen. When he is not writing or working his job, you will find him listening to some music, or surfing and reading car reviews, which he does on the plane when he is from or going to work. He also loves working as an IT professional, particularly the meticulous nature and challenges that it throws at him every day.

In Wounds of Honor, the first novel in the Empire series, a band of Barbarians attacks Marcus Valerius while he is on his way to Northern Britain to deliver a message from Rome. Thankfully, a troop of Tungrian irregulars that is part of the Roman auxiliary comes to his rescue. He soon discovers that all is not well when he arrives at the Northern Roman outpost, as he receives the information that Emperor Commodus had condemned his father and killed his entire family. He is now certain that what happened on the road may not have been a chance attack but rather an attempt to kill him. Even as there are some soldiers willing to kill him, he finds some allies on Hadrian’s Wall who hatch a plan to send him to the Tungrians where he will be safe. Marcus soon finds himself fighting to win over some of his own men that were still loyal to Commodus, even as the auxiliary faces imminent attack from the barbarians.

In Arrows of Fury, the new Roman governor of Britain finds himself in a difficult situation as the northern tribes have rebelled making the risk of losing the entire province very real. Taking Calgus, one of the most brutal commanders in his legion, he sets forth with sword and flame to subdue the rebellious northerners. Marcus now finds himself in an increasingly precarious position as new officers flood into Britain, men that have no loyalty towards him yet have it for the emperor. He could now easily die from saying a word without thought or from an enemy spear. Even as he is engaged in training his troops how to beat off a barbarian charge, his new commander seems to have somehow discovered the secret of who he really is. With such a high-ranking officer on his trail, he can only hope that his most loyal of men will remain so.

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